CQC may charge practices £1,500 fee

GP practices could face fees of around £1,500 to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), documents released by the watchdog reveal.

Dr McCarron-Nash: GPs shouldn’t have to pay a fee at all
Dr McCarron-Nash: GPs shouldn’t have to pay a fee at all

A CQC consultation to set fees for dental surgeries says GP practices may be in the same category of provider. GPs may be charged for each location if they have multiple or branch practices, the consultation suggests.

England’s 9,000 GP practices have to register with the regulator from April 2012. The consultation proposes a registration fee of £1,500 for each dental practice, and makes clear GP practices are likely to face a similar deal.

‘We are considering whether to include primary medical service providers within the non-NHS healthcare category for their fees charges, in a similar way to the proposals for dental providers in this consultation,’ the document says.

The CQC will consult on GP provider fees next autumn. GPC negotiator Dr Beth McCarron-Nash said the GPC was in talks with the CQC and hoped to avoid a GP registration fee.

‘We are currently working with the CQC around what practices are going to be expected to pay and nothing has been agreed,’ she said.

‘We don’t think any fee is reasonable and we will be arguing that GPs shouldn’t have to pay this at all.’

A foreword to the consultation by CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower says the regulator has ‘no interest’ in making fees higher than they need to be because its income is capped by the DoH.

‘The more [providers] are able to demonstrate their compliance, the less the system will cost,’ Ms Bower adds.

A spokesman for the CQC said that although federations of GP practices may also have to register, commissioning consortia will not as the watchdog only oversees providers.

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